Covid warning ahead of Christmas in Hampshire

A HAMPSHIRE leader has warned residents ahead of a relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions over Christmas.

Cllr Keith Mans, leader of Hampshire County Council, said residents need to be careful and think about the impact of meeting people indoors.

The news comes as Covid restrictions are going to be eased next week to allow three households to meet indoors between December 23 and 27.

But Cllr Mans said that does not mean people have to change what they are doing.

Talking during the meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board yesterday he said: “In my view that should only happen if you really want it to happen. That does not mean you have to change what you are doing and you need to bear in mind that mixing different generations is an important issue that you need to be careful of particularly indoors.”

Cllr Mans also asked residents to avoid meetings if possible.

He added: “I think the intergenerational meetings avoid those if you possibly can because that to me is where things get out of hand, where elderly people are much at risk.”

The news comes as some experts have warned that the decision to ease restrictions across the country over Christmas “will cost many lives”.

From today London and several other areas in the South East will enter Tier 3 following a sharp increase in Covid cases.

The relaxation of the rules planned for next week is now set to be reviewed.

The news comes as the Tier system is also set to be reviewed today.

As reported, last month Simon Bryant, the director of public health at Hampshire County Council, said the county might remain in Tier 2 “for longer” in order to manage the loosening of the restrictions at Christmas.

At the meeting held yesterday Mr Bryant said the current infection rates across the country are “concerning”.

He told members that Hampshire has an infection rate of 89.7×100,000. Meanwhile, Southampton infection rate stands at 79.2×100,000 while the infection rate for England is 173×100,000.

Last week the director of public health in Southampton also said the city might remain in Tier 2. Residents both in Hampshire and Southampton have been repeatedly urged to continue to follow the guidelines.

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